SuperValu rows back on controversial promotion

IFA president Joe Healy condemned SuperValu's heavy discounting
IFA president Joe Healy condemned SuperValu's heavy discounting

SuperValu has announced that it will suspend its promotion offering free vegetables, following criticism from the Irish Farmers Association

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3 February 2017 | 0

SuperValu has announced it will suspend its current promotional programme that received harsh criticism from the Irish Farmers’ Association, after discussions with the body.

Last week, the retailer introduced a promotional offer consisting of free carrots and potatoes when customers purchased a side of roast beef – which was also discounted by 50%. This week, the same promotion existed with onions and mushrooms.

Initially, IFA President Joe Healy called the promotion unethical, calling it a “race to the bottom.

“It demonstrates a need for a clear ban on below-cost selling of food,” Healy said. “Farmers have little or no market power, and ultimately they bear the brunt of this type of unethical price promotion.”

Specifying the issue with the promotion, Healy explained that a combination of the cost of production, combined with the certain drop in sales of other vegetables on the back of these promotions, has a serious impact on farmers’ margins.” Retailers cannot pretend that promotions do not have a serious impact on sales of other competing fresh produce,” he said. “The highly perishable nature of things like broccoli and cauliflower means that cannot be held over until the promotion finishes.

“This distorts the market for everyone,” he said.

Welcoming SuperValu’s decision to suspend the promotion, Healy said that the IFA would continue its talks with the retailer “to express farmers’ anger at this type of promotion”.

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